June Events

Solar Oven Cooking- So Mike is getting pretty savvy with cooking in his solar oven.  I finally took pictures of the whole process to show how easy it is to use.  Basically you set it outside on a flat surface (or desert landscaping as in our case) facing the sun and set up the silver reflector thingies.  Those flaps are similar to flaps on a cardboard box so if you can open a box, you can set up a solar oven.  Wait a while and then go and check the temp on the thermostat that’s inside the solar oven.  When it’s hot (and it doesn’t take long) then use oven mitts to open the glass top lid and put your pot of food on the little swing inside the oven.  Go and check like every 1/2 hour to poke food and see if it’s done and also to rotate your oven since the sun moves and your box may be in the shade. 

We’ve done things backwards in that we’ve only cooked meats in our oven.  It’s sooooo juicy and delicious.  Even something as common as  a hotdog takes on a whole new flavor when cooked in the sun oven.  We think meat is much better tasting after cooking in our solar oven.  Most people start with bread or water to try out the oven.  Here’s some great recipesfor cooking with a solar oven.  Maybe we should have a BBQ without the grill and make hot dogs in our solar oven.

Joshy Milestones- We’re growing by leaps and bounds and walking!  Josh took his first steps at 15 months while Mike and Mikey were in St. George visiting Grandma. What was interesting is that he didn’t take 2 steps and fall down.  He walked across the family room from the tv to the couch and then preceded to walk from 1 piece of furniture to the next.  My sis-in-law the kid expert (or so we all believe) said that kids who hit milestones “later” tend to do better at them.  In this case, taking lots of steps before falling down and having hardly any time between learning to walk and then taking off and running.  Another biggy is that he is weaned. Freedom!!  Not too bad when all was said and done, but getting to that point sure seemed like forever.  He’s still pretty small (3rd percentile) and hasn’t hit the magic 20 lb mark yet so we’ll wait until his 18 month appt. to turn his carseat forward facing.  He doesn’t seem to mind facing backward since he can see and play with Mikey pretty well while we’re driving.

Staycation- One of the vendors Mike’s company uses had a customer appreciation event way in the middle of no where, seriously!  We packed up the car and headed north to Apex then west past Coyote Springs.  Discount Dumpsters is a family owned and operated business which has a ranch, landfill, man made lake, airplane runway, and animals all out there for family and friends to enjoy.  They had a BBQ, landfill tours, and lots of excitement in such an unusual setting.  We had a blast and would love to get to know these people better.

Being the house hunters we are, we couldn’t help ourselves being that close to Coyote Springs to go exploring. There’s just a golf course so far.

April in Review

I kind of think I should just unload my camera’s pics at the end of the month and then blog a recap of important events to go along with the select few pictures.  Sounds easy and organized in my mind at least!

Well, let’s start where we still remember what was happening:

Anniversary- Mike and I have been married for a mere 5 years.  All is well in the Cox House of Fun.  We spend more time apart than together, but nightschool ends soon and I definitely have more time with my new calling.  Do we argue and disagree?  Of course, but when it comes down to it, we love eachother and have only knocked out 5 years of an eternity.  We are so in this for the long run.  Love you babe!  And since the “traditional” gift for a 5 year anniversary is wood, Mike was creative and got me a gift card to Home Depot knowing I would buy my materials to make my square foot garden boxes.  He also got me a gift card to Michael’s craft store to maybe buy some wood craft project and a gift card to Old Navy to buy something to wear that’s not wood!?!  Combine that with my $45 dollar off coupon and you’ve got a great deal to go shopping!  I love creative thinking for presents outside of the box- ha ha, no pun intended

Daddy's Little Helper
Daddy’s Little Helper

 

Boys Hard at Work
Boys Hard at Work

 

Square Foot Garden Box #1
Square Foot Garden Box #1

Easter: We have a tradition to invite Mike’s ATech HS friends and their kids over for an potluck picnic and Easter egg hunt at the park behind our house.  This was our 3rd annual Easter Eggstravaganza and we opened it up to our neighborhood group and church friends and had a record 45 people!  I didn’t even say hi to everyone, because I was making sure the food table was well stocked, but everyone ate, kids got to hunt for eggs, and then they all left!  Worked out great in my opinion =o)

Lightning McQueen Easter Basket
Lightning McQueen Easter Basket Josh and the Fox Family
Walking on the Wall

Walking on the Wall

The next day (real Easter Sunday) we went to the Lee’s who are in our ward and our kids and us adults have become really great friends.  We made homemade pizza and had a great Easter egg hunt.  Nice laid back time for all to enjoy.
My 3 Boys

My 3 Boys

 

Sharing the Loot

Sharing the Loot

Maddy, Joshy, Mikey, Rachel

Maddy, Joshy, Mikey, Rachel

 

My 1st Homemade Pizza

My 1st Homemade Pizza

Ta Da

Ta Da

 

Hidden Eggs in the Playhouse

Hidden Eggs in the Playhouse

New Calling: On Easter Eve I had a thought pop in my mind before I went to bed that the new RS presidency would be called the next day.  I bawled like a baby.  I have never had such an intense calling that pushed me to my limits, out of my comfort zone, and really made me question my beliefs and testimony.  Nothing can prepare you for a calling like that (in the RS presidency) more than going to the temple and being assured that you are doing this all for Heavenly Father and that He will provide a way and means for you to handle your calling, family, and other obligations.  I have never experienced such excruciating headaches than those on a Sunday afternoon, but I have never been able to say that I know a name and face of more than 75% of the sisters in my ward personally either.  I loved my calling, especially getting out and really getting to know the sisters.  There were struggles- food orders, a never ending revolving door of move ins and move outs like no other, and the occassional overscheduling of meetings on a school night, but I loved it.  I made up the rest of the diaper cakes (Mikey attempted to help) and was so excited to clear out my binders, manuals, and other RS things getting passed on to the new couselor which made some space in my house for food storage- yay!

My new calling is a Primary worker specifically in the nursery.  I’ll admit that I was a bit resentful at first since I would go from knowing everything about events and happenings in RS to knowing nothing since my 2 hours of the block would now be spent with 18-36month olds. But thanks to a wonderful Bishop who gave me a blessing, I can now rest assured that this is where I am supposed to be. All my worries and doubts have faded away and I honestly look forward to my huge classroom with 12 little kiddos ready and eager to learn of Jesus. The Lord needs me at this time to help foster the bity testimonies of His little ones.  I love a challenge and this is for sure a challenge!  So far I’ve relied on my college degree to help me in this area, but more importantly I’ve relied on the Lord.  That’s an important lesson right there!  I’m ready and anxious and seriously want to teach these kids to read!  I’ve got the 1st hour down as far as books and singing songs and now we just need some fine tuning to the second hour to make this little ship run smooth.  I am 1 of 3 teachers in this class actually so the extra help with crowd control really works wonders, thankgoodness for that!  This coming Sunday will be my 3rd time in there and it gets better (less behavior problems) each and every time!  Another important lesson is to take the initiative to still do the things you did before as far as reaching out to other sisters to make them feel welcomed to the ward.  And knowing about the RS activities might be a bit more difficult, but I still do what I can to find out and attend and do my part.  I am enjoying my Sunday calling and while I do miss my RS calling at times, I do know that it’s someone else’s turn to shine and serve the Lord to improve the education in RS at this time.  It’s someone else’s turn for serving and dealing with everyone else’s issues!

Mikey's Creative Touch
Mikey’s Creative Touch

 

Diaper Cakes Galore

Diaper Cakes GaloreYum Strawberry Group Order

 

Murder Mystery Dinner: Did you know that the Hotel at Mt. Charleston is super cheap and is starting to offer discounts and fun events to Las Vegas locals?  Well Mike is director of IT (fancy name for being their computer fix it guy) for the company who owns and runs the place and he came across their deal to attend a Murder Mystery Dinner up there.  Add on the employee discount, invite the Lee’s to come along for the fun, get a room for the Stevensons so they could babysit the kiddos for 2 hours, get all fancied up for a real date without kiddos in tow and you’ve got yourself a really nice grown up party! 

We were told shirt and tie, but apparently our idea of formal dress and the rest of the guests ideas were way off!  Oh well!  We were the best dressed couples that evening and had fun socializing with strangers and figuring out if Cougar the golf star, London the rich movie star, the cupcake baker, or the recently unemployeed lawyer did it in the ballroom with the snow globe!  None of us won, but we had fun trying!  Oh, and Mikey got sick on the way up and puked all over my car!   And then it happened in the middle of the night on the comforter, but at least he was in his own bed at the hotel and not sleeping between us.  I don’t handle vomit very well, but this poor sick kid I think has gotten me over being afraid of puke- I didn’t have a choice really!

The Sitters-Working for Food (and a Free Room)

The Sitters-Working for Food (and a Free Room)

My Hot Date!

My Hot Date!

 

The Bar- 21 and Older

The Bar- 21 and Older

The Morning After

The Morning After

Little Cheifs

Little Cheifs

Rum Tum Tum Banging on Our Drums

Rum Tum Tum Banging on Our Drums

 

Whew!  That’s a bunch in April, but I think I’m on to something doing this unload pics and blog all at once!  Stay tuned for more!